Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

2022 Safar Symposium and Multi-Departmental Trainees' Research Day

L to R: Drs. Patrick Kochanek (Director, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research), Geoffrey Ling (2022 Safar lecture presenter), Yan Xu (Vice Chair for Basic Sciences, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine), and Aman Mahajan (Peter and Eva Safar Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine)

The 19th annual Safar Symposium and 12th annual Multi-Departmental Trainees’ Research Day was held on May 26-27, 2022. Building upon the Peter and Eva Safar Lectureship established in 1980 by Peter M. Winter, MD (former chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine), this yearly event honors the late Dr. Peter Safar and his wife Eva for their contributions to the scientific community and highlights current research in areas spanning Dr. Safar’s interests. The theme of the 2022 event was Acute Brain Care: Bringing the Future to the Bedside.

Dr. Patrick Kochanek presenting awards to winners Tyler Nelson (top) and Heather Allen (bottom)

The Multi-Departmental Trainees’ Research Day event is a collaboration between the Departments of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Neurological Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, as well as the Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research (WISER). Fifty-nine posters from trainees in the collaborating departments were presented with over half (30 abstracts) from our department. Award winners from our department include first place winner Tyler Nelson, a graduate student in the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Neuroscience Training Program working with mentor Bradley Taylor, PhD, for his presentation “Spinal Neuropeptide Y1 Receptor-Expressing Interneurons Represent a Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain.” Heather Allen, PhD, a T32 postdoctoral scholar also working with Dr. Taylor, won the second place poster award for her presentation “Parabrachial Neuropeptide Y Y1 Receptors Modulate Neuropathic Pain in Mice.”

Morning presentations on the first day of the symposium included:

  • “Multi-Modal Monitoring to Guide Care after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest” by Alexis Topjian, MD, MSCE, Director of Pediatric Neurocritical Care, Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, and Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
  • “To Oblivion and Back: Surprising Insights about Deep Anesthetic States and the Human Brain” by Max B. Kelz, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
  • “Biomarker-Guided Evaluation and Management of Acute Traumatic Brain Injury” by Frederick Korley, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan
  • “Probing the Peripheral Inflammation in Traumatic Brain Injury” by Cesar V. Borlongan, PhD, Distinguished Professor, Director, and Vice Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
  • “Intracortical Brain-Computer Interfaces to Restore Arm and Hand Function” by Jennifer L. Collinger, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Rehab Neural Engineering Labs, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • “Non-Invasive Assessment of Intracranial Pressure and Brain Compliance” by Jay Rakkar, MD, Clinical Instructor, Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh; NIH T32 Post-Doctoral Scholar, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research

Geoffrey Ling, MD, PhD, CEO of On Demand Pharmaceuticals, presented the 41st Peter and Eva Safar Annual Lecture in Medical Sciences and Humanities, “Say Yes to a Different Attitude to Help Advance Patient Care.”

Following the Trainees’ Research Day poster session, a special program Freedom House 2.0 was presented. Speakers included:

  • “History of Freedom House” by Dan Swayze, DrPH, MBA, MEMS, Vice President, Community Services, UPMC Health Plan
  • “Freedom House Ambulance: Three Personal Views from the Beginning” by Mr. Mitchell J. Brown, Former Freedom House Paramedic and Former Columbus, OH City Councilmember; Mr. Phil Hallen, President Emeritus, Falk Foundation; Mr. John Moon, Retired Assistant Chief, City of Pittsburgh EMS and Former Freedom House Paramedic
  • “Lessons Learned from Freedom House 2.0’s First Year and a Look to the Future” by Emily Lovallo, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Medical Director, Freedom House 2.0; Mr. Kenneth Hickey, Program Manager, UPMC Health Plan

WISER director Paul E. Phrampus, MD, moderated day two of the symposium on May 27th, which was themed Competency-Based Education, Assessments and Simulation and featured the following presentations:

  • “Enhancing Efficiency While Maintaining Effectiveness in Simulation” by John O’Donnell, DrPh, CRNA, Professor and Chair, Department of Nurse Anesthesia, University of Pittsburgh; Associate Director, WISER
  • “Using Simulation to Ensure Competency: Do We Have the Evidence?” by KT Waxman, DNP, MBA, RN, CNL, CENP, CHSE, FSSH, FAONL, FAAN, Professor and Director, DNP Program; Director, California Simulation Alliance, University of San Francisco
  • “Leveraging Technology to Advance Healthcare Simulation Education” by Kristen Brown, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-AC, CHSE-A, FAAN, Assistant Professor, Director of Immersive Learning & Digital Innovation Practice, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing; Simulation Strategic Projects Lead, Johns Hopkins Medicine Simulation Center
  • “Using Simulation and Deliberate Practice to Improve Patient Handovers in a Military Population” by Joseph Lopreiato, MD, MPH, CHSE-A, FSSH, Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Nursing; Associate Dean for Simulation Education, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • “SP Assessments: Building Quality Events through Design and Training” by Ms. Valerie L. Fulmer, BA, Director, Standardized Patient (SP) Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Past President, Association of SP Educators

The faculty presentations and the Peter and Eva Safar lecture were recorded and will be available for viewing on a future date.